Austin Voth got knocked around a bit by the New York Mets when he faced them in his MLB debut back on July 14th in Citi Field, but Washington’s 26-year-old right-hander came out of that start thinking he’d at least shown himself that his stuff plays at the major league level.
“I’m able to compete at this level,” Voth told reporters after giving up nine hits, three walks, and seven earned runs in 4 1⁄3 innings.
“I just need to fine-tune a couple things and hopefully be back here soon.”
It took two months before he returned to the mound in the majors, in a relief appearance against the Atlanta Braves last Friday, but he got an opportunity to make his second start Saturday afternoon in the third game of four with the Mets in Nationals Park.
Voth got off to a good start against the Mets with four scoreless innings on 57 pitches, retiring seven in a row after he gave up back-to-back, two-out walks in the first, and he wrapped up his outing with a scoreless 16-pitch fifth that left him at 73 total.
Austin Voth’s Line: (W, 1-1), 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER 2 BB, 5 Ks, 73 P, 49 S, 4/1 GO/FO.
“Voth was really good,” Davey Martinez said after what ended up a 6-0 win. “We wanted to keep him around 75 pitches, and we wanted to get him his first win, so it was very good, a very good day for him, pitched very well.”
“He threw the ball great,” Ryan Zimmerman added after going 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored.
“Pounded the zone, got ahead, yeah, it’s fun to play behind him when he gets going like that. As a defender, when a guy is throwing strikes and working quick, it’s great for us.”
Voth threw fastballs for 45 of his 73 pitches, 33 for strikes (73.3%), mixed in his curveball (18 total, 10 for strikes, 55.6%) and changeup (10, six for strikes, 60%).
“I felt comfortable this time around,” Voth said, “definitely. I felt awful after that first start, didn’t go the way I wanted it to, but I was motivated to do better this second time.”
“When he’s on,” Martinez added, “... he can throw his breaking ball for strikes, his cutter for strikes, you know, everything. He kept the ball down, elevated when he needed to, but he was really good. Throwing strikes, limited the walks, so he was really, really crisp.”
Voth was asked what was different for his this time around against the Mets.
“I think the main thing was just executing my pitches. In the first game against the Mets I wasn’t executing my pitches, I was up in the zone, and my curveball was really on today. I was able to throw that in and out of the strike zone and that really helped me.”
Did the fact that he earned his first major league win sink in yet?
“It will probably hit me tomorrow morning,” Voth said, “but right now I’m just going to enjoy it.”